London Symphony Orchestra, Bernard Haitink – Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 1-9 (Special Edition Box) (2006)
SACD ISO: 24,81 GB (Stereo & MCH) | FLAC @ 24bit/88.2kHz: 6,73 GB | Artwork | 3% Rec. Info
Label/Cat#: LSO Live # LSO0598 | Country/Year: UK 2006
Genre: Classical | Style: Viennese School, Orchestral
This is the easiest review I shall ever have the pleasure of writing & can be summed up in two words:
It is not often one can hail a modern classic, especially of music that has been recorded so often in the past, but this is a rare standard of music making.
Full reviews can be found following the links given below but suffice to say that this is the most musical set of performances of Beethoven I have heard since first hearing Schnabel; it is also the most impressive I have heard from a playing perspective in Beethoven & I have never heard the LSO play like this on disc before now. Lastly, it is wonderful to hear Haitink bring all his experience with a truly fresh vision (for both him and us) of how this great music can sound.
From the opening of the first symphony, the notes sound as though the ink is still drying and this impression continues through the other 8 masterpieces. It is more than just sounding newly minted; the honesty, structure and emotion are all vividly conveyed too in the best sound that LSO Live have achieved to date from the Barbican. The Triple Concerto & Leonore Overture No.2 are just as successful and makes one wish for follow-up sets to complete the orchestral music together with a concerto cycle and Fidelio all under the baton of Haitink.
The box-set brings together all 6 discs (in slip-cases) with the original artwork used and the notes conflated into one booklet – very neatly done, even if not everyone admires the concept of the photos.
As I said before (and it cannot be said often enough) – buy it, not just for yourself but for all your friends/family/colleagues… they will all be profoundly grateful. Copyright © 2006 John Broggio
I bought this box set very soon after its release, after reading three reviews of the individual releases here on SA-CD.net. The reviews stressed the nuance and attention to dynamics and dance-like quality that I had heard Haitink bring to a performance of Mahler’s First at Tanglewood this summer. That performance had me going away shaking my head in wonder (and I’m not a big Mahler fan).
I decided to to listen to the symphonies in natural order, rather than by release. So I started with No. 1, listening on my five-full-range Thiel multi-channel music setup. I could hardly sit still I was so excited as the piece unfolded, and at the end I found myself saying to the empty room “wow-o-wow-o-wow”!! Out loud! I can never remember having such a strong reaction to a piece of music in my life.
The remainder of the symphonies never failed to please…I rate them all at or near the top of any other perfomance I have or have heard…although the 8th is a little rushed to my taste, and the orchestral and choral forces a little too light to convey the necessary “gravitas” of the Ninth. But still, these are fine interpretations. That slight, little symphony called the “First”, however, for me still conveys the most magic of Haitink’s conducting.
Frankly, the last Beethoven cycle that I found compelling was Walter’s…and that was back in the late ’60’s. Until now, it has been my favorite although I also have Klemperer and Kleiber’s output, plus a few others.
When I try to describe the Haitink approach, I tell people to mix Walter’s lyricism and sense of propulsiveness, with Kleiber’s lean, uptempo approach, and then to throw in Szell’s attention to balance and nuance and detail…and then prepare to have that mix bettered. This is an unbelievable set, and I am happy to see that the NYC critics agree (I was really interested in whether they would embrace this fairly radical approach.)
The fine sound is not just icing on this cake…in multichannel it is like adding another layer and a half-inch of icing. These recordings come as close as I have heard in multichannel to capturing the sound of a full orchestra in a good hall (the boxy bass excepted). I use a Sony SACD player (C2000ES) that decodes direct in pure DSD, and despite the Barbicons dryness, I still can hear enough ambience to make the sound in my room gourgeous. When I attend concerts, I tend to clost my eyes to concentrate on the music…when I do that in my living room, I can very easily suspend belief…the sound is that close to “being there”.
I will treasure this set until the end of my days, and hope others will attain the same joy from it after I am gone. sa-cd.net
Symphony No.3 in Eb, Op.55 “Eroica”: I. Allegro con brio
Symphony No.3 in Eb, Op.55 “Eroica”: II. Marcia funebre: Adagio assai
Symphony No.3 in Eb, Op.55 “Eroica”: III. Scherzo and Trio: Allegro vivace
Symphony No.3 in Eb, Op.55 “Eroica”: IV. Finale: Allegro molto
Leonore Overture No.2 in C, Op.72a
Symphony No.4 – I. Adagio – Allegro vivace
Symphony No.4 – II. Adagio
Symphony No.4 – III. Allegro vivace
Symphony No.4 – IV. Allegro ma non troppo
Symphony No.8 – I. Allegro vivace e con brio
Symphony No.8 – II. Allegretto scherzando
Symphony No.8 – III. Tempo di menuetto
Symphony No.8 – IV. Allegro vivace
Symphony No.5 – I. Allegro con brio
Symphony No.5 – II. Andante con moto
Symphony No.5 – III. Allegro
Symphony No.5 – IV. Allegro
Symphony No.1 – I. Adagio molto – Allegro con brio
Symphony No.1 – II. Andante cantabile con moto
Symphony No.1 – III. Menuetto & trio. Allegro molto e vivace
Symphony No.1 – IV. Adagio – Allegro molto e vivace
Symphony No.6 ‘Pastoral’ – I. Erwachen heiterer Gefuhle bei der Ankunft auf dem Lande
Symphony No.6 ‘Pastoral’ – II. Szene am Bach
Symphony No.6 ‘Pastoral’ – III. Lustiges Zusammensein der Landleute
Symphony No.6 ‘Pastoral’ – IV. Gewitter, Sturm
Symphony No.6 ‘Pastoral’ – V. Hirtengesang – Frohe, dankbare Gefuhle nach dem Sturm
Symphony No.2 – I. Adagio molto – Allegro con brio
Symphony No.2 – II. Larghetto
Symphony No.2 – III. Scherzo & Trio. Allegro
Symphony No.2 – IV. Allegro molto
Symphony No.7 in A, Op.92: I. Poco sostenuto – Vivace
Symphony No.7 in A, Op.92: II. Allegretto
Symphony No.7 in A, Op.92: III. Presto
Symphony No.7 in A, Op.92: IV. Allegro con brio
Triple Concerto in C, Op.56: I. Allegro
Triple Concerto in C, Op.56: II. Largo
Triple Concerto in C, Op.56: III. Rondo alla Polacca
Symphony No 9 in D minor, Op.125 ‘Choral’ – I Allegro ma non troppo, un poco maestoso
Symphony No 9 in D minor, Op.125 ‘Choral’ – II. Scherzo: Molto vivace
Symphony No 9 in D minor, Op.125 ‘Choral’ – III. Adagio molto e cantabile
Symphony No 9 in D minor, Op.125 ‘Choral’ – IV. Presto – Allegro ma non troppo – Vivace – Adagio canttabile
Gordan Nikolitch (violin)
Tim Hugh (cello)
Lars Vogt (piano)
Twyla Robinson (soprano)
Karen Cargill (mezzo soprano)
John Mac Master (tenor)
Gerald Finley (bass)
London Symphony Chorus
London Symphony Orchestra
Bernhard Haitink (conductor)
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